The galleries/museums that I’ve visited this summer:
Chester 3rd year Degree Show – Chester
TATE – Liverpool
The Walker Gallery – Liverpool
Bluecoat Gallery – Liverpool
Warrington Museum and Art Gallery – Warrington
The Atkinson – Southport
Birmingham Museum and Galleries – Birmingham
Ikon Gallery – Birmingham
Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Wakefield
Hepworth Gallery – Wakefield
Jamie Green – At first you break windows, then you become a window yourself – 2015
(Wood, expanding foam, castors – dressed by Debenhams personal shopping service)
These were three funny sculptures that looked like piles of marshmallow, or pieces of a rain cloud. The main material used was expanding foam, which created the odd fluffy shapes. I loved how they were dressed in clothing that were hanging off certain sections of each sculpture. Each sculpture had 2-3 garments attached to them.
Jamie Fitzpatrick – The King – 2015 (pigment wax, sterling board, polyurethane foam)
This was the strangest sculpture I’ve spotted at the Bluecoat gallery. It was sat on top of a pedestal, and positioned in a reclining nude like stance. And when I found that the name of this piece was ‘The King’ I thought it suited it perfectly. I wasn’t sure of what to make of this sculpture at first, but the more I looked at it, the more it grew on me. And I appreciated how long it would have taken to melt the wax all over this piece.
John Moores Painting Prize 2016
Karl Bielik – Sunday 2015 (oil on canvas)
I really like the simple composition of this painting as it was the first to catch my eye in the exhibition. I think this is because, compared to the other paintings, this one was the least busiest, and didn’t fill the whole of the canvas. I especially enjoyed the mix of colours painted together like scoops of ice cream that were melting and dripping down the canvas. The black sharp lines, that I think almost resemble a skeletons ribcage, balance out the heavy application of colour on the left of the piece. At first, I felt that this piece wasn’t completely finished, however I think I only felt that way because of the other heavy and bold paintings that surrounded it in the room.
Ben Cove – Freeloader 2014 (oil on panel)
This painting was one of the smaller ones in the room, but surprisingly not the smallest altogether. The colour scheme worked perfectly and is very much something I would use in my own work. The 3D painted aspects, that almost act as a border complement the shapes in the middle which are flat, but still have a textured look to them. The highlight and shadows are painted so well that it had me looking around the sides of the panel to see where the painting continued. I feel like the artist has created an optical illusion by painting this way. I was overall really impressed with this piece, especially the perfectly smooth application of the oil paint.
Simon Williams – A bout portant 2015 (Alkyd oil on canvas)
This was another interesting piece, firstly because it was painted with Alkyd oil, which is something I’ve never heard of, so instantly made me want to look it up. Secondly the intense black background which I thought was unusual but I found effective. I liked the application of the oil paint, which I think creates a fluidity and movement to the piece.
Lady with brain – 1990 (oil on canvas)
Lassnig has created a haunting portrait of a lady, that appears to have the brain of the woman coming out of her head, hanging down to the right side of her face. The painting is a self portrait of Lassnig, that has been distorted and manipulated. She expresses a type of pain that I think is clearly seen on the expressions of her face. The light and appealing colour scheme (which is often used throughout Lassnig’s work) takes away the grotesque unpleasant nature to the piece, because it could be consider gory if it was more bodily. I think the colour scheme also adds to the fact that the portrait doesn’t really look human anymore, and more like an alien creature from science fiction. This was by far my favourite piece in the whole exhibition.
Girls with drinks and paper cut outs – 2016 (oil paint on canvas)
This piece grabbed my attention straight away in the exhibition. The lightly drawn but over exaggerated characters were the main focus, even though they were not central in the piece. I like the added touch of the ‘paper cutouts’ which at first I did think they were scraps of paper, but on a closer inspection they turned out to be skilfully painted on. The subject matter I think was to communicate friendships and relationships, especially between women. This idea is expressed perfectly by the two sketchy but elegant figures.
Large bather with paper cut outs – 2016 (oil paint on canvas)
This piece was toward the end of the exhibition, that gave a memorable presence to the room. The bold block colours and the curvy and powerful stance of the figure are similar to the other painting ‘Girls with drinks and paper cut outs’. The way the woman is draw and wrapped in the odd shapes, gives the effect of dominance as she is directly in the centre of the canvas.The only thing I wasn’t too keen on, was the olive green colour that created a border around the piece.
So after finishing my first year at university, and also being incredibly happy with my over all results from the year. I was set a summer project that has been keeping me busy over the break. The main target of the project was to collect images (visual research) from all kinds of sources, that could be split in to either an abstract or representative category. I needed to collect 30 images for each category, and from this I had to create 30 responses to my chosen sources. (these responses could be drawings, paintings, photography or collage)
I collected well over 60 images, from old magazines and newspapers, to leaflets that I picked up from various sources. The hardest part I found was trying to divide my collection into abstract and representational. I think this is mainly because I have mostly been drawn to more of an abstract style, as its how I usually choose to work. I divided up my favourite images and displayed them in a mood board fashion, as for me, this is the best way to sift through ideas of the visual kind.
For this project I was leaning more towards collage than painting (which is how I usually work) I started by photocopying some of my abstract images so that I would not have to use up the original one, and so I could keep it as a reference image. I then began cutting up shapes and keeping the scrap bits of paper, positioning them together to see how they worked. I realised that by working within an abstract style I would not have to worry about running out of ideas, because I found that by just using shapes there are so many possibilities.
I have created almost 30 responses so far that are on A4 and A3 paper, as well as these, I have filled a small A5 sketchbook wth possible things I could try out but on a larger scale. I’m not entirely sure where I am going with this project yet, but I am enjoying the spontaneity of it so far.
6TH JUNE- 19TH JULY
at the Handel’s Court Gallery, Chester
Lydia Jennings, Jill Anderson, Aveline Kyffin, Jennifer Clarke and Michael Walls